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5 Biggest Oscars Upsets (Nominated But Lost)

5 Biggest Oscars Upsets (Nominated But Lost)


How about that Oscars night huh? ICYMI they announced “La La Land” as winner for Best Picture to only then reveal it was a mistake and “Moonlight” actually won.

I’ll bet there are some who can think of cases where they WISHED that happened. You may remember last year I did a list about the Biggest Oscar Snubs, well I’m back with another about the biggest upsets. It’s true it’s an honor just to be nominated, however when you’re beaten by something that was inferior, it can be just crazy. Now there are many classic examples you may notice aren’t on this list like “Forrest Gump” beating “Pulp Fiction” and “Shawshank Redemption” or “Driving Miss Daisy” beating “Do The Right Thing” etc. Well they’re not here because honestly I agree with the Academy’s decision. Or examples like Eddie Redmayne beating Michael Keaton which is not here because I still haven’t seen “The Theory of Everything” so it’s not fair for me to compare. I will keep an open mind and give it a fair chance for when I eventually do see it. With all that out of the way let’s begin.

5.) Sixth Sense losing to American Beauty


Like I said earlier, it honestly was hard to find examples to showcase on this list since most of the classic examples I’m actually on the Academy’s side. I went through the years and found an example I don’t often see, but I personally have strong feelings about. Now just to be clear I do like “American Beauty” but out of all of Sam Mendes films it’s one of my least favorite. Personally I think Sam Mendes has made better films since like “Away We Go,” “Road to Perdition,” and the best James Bond ever “Skyfall.” Still, for a first film it is EXTREMELY impressive. Full of quotable lines and jaw dropping visuals. There has been something of a backlash against in the years since, but I don’t agree with it so that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about here. I may one day re-watch “American Beauty” whereas I have already watched “The Sixth Sense” countless times before.

Now “The Sixth Sense” wasn’t M Night Shyamalan’s first movie, but how many people do you know who have actually seen “Praying With Anger” and “Wide Awake?” Like James Cameron with “The Terminator” even though he had made a debut film before, this was practically a redo of starting his career. Now what’s truly exceptional about “The Sixth Sense” is that yes that twist is amazing and so well-done, but the film itself really stands up on its own. Some films with famous twist endings are silly or uninteresting without that initial surprise so re-watching them doesn’t offer much. However, even if you know the twist to “Sixth Sense” it doesn’t stop the scary parts from being scary nor the emotional parts from affecting you. Hell even the deleted scenes that are often added back for the TV version are incredible. It’s honestly very hard for me NOT to cry during the car scene with Cole and his mom towards the end. I know watching Kevin Spacey not give a f@%$ or Annette Bening be the most uptight woman in the world is fun, but there just isn’t much else there. Unless you somehow find Wes Bentley’s musings on a plastic bag blowing in the wind insightful. In which case I… don’t know what to say to you.

4.) Ellen Burstyn losing to Julia Roberts


This was so messed up it caused one of my friends to end his support and watching of the awards show in disgust. Something he still does to this day. So this was one of those things where it seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Ellen Burstyn is older and well-liked by critics and her contemporaries. She goes through quite the physical transformation looking almost nothing like herself and it’s a serious subject. For all that people complain that people like Art Carney and Sean Connery only won their Oscars as career awards, you’d swear this would be a shoo-in. However, this was the year Julia Roberts won for “Erin Brockovich.” Now it’s a fine film though apparently skims over the real life ending in a way that’s a bit low. Personally I was a bit annoyed by the character herself. If I were Albert Finney I probably would have fired her and not looked back. And before you think I’m someone who hated anything to do with Julia Roberts, I’ll make a confession here. She was my first celebrity crush. There’s no denying that she did throw herself into the role and that’s impressive.

That all having been said, did you see “Requiem For A Dream?” Not only is it one of the most hard-hitting films you’ll ever see about drugs or not, but a fascinating insight to the minds of users. Personally I never liked any of the characters. The way the film is made it still hits me as strong so the lack of likable characters doesn’t end up hurting it that much. That is except for one character, the mother. Not only is she a saint for putting up with her loser of a son selling her TV over and over, but she’s the only true victim of the film. The other characters knew what the drugs would do, but still partook. They are reaping what they sowed. The mother’s only “crime” was wanting to lose some weight to look good on TV. She knows her best years are far behind her and she has lots of hurt in her life and she’s not especially glamorous. So, she starts taking diet pills and sadly becomes addicted to them. The deterioration of her throughout the film is nothing short of heartbreaking and totally believable. She’s so believable in fact you’ll want to call your mom just to check on her. The idea she didn’t win is maddening enough, but to lose to merely a pretty good performance feels as bad as the mother must feel by the end of “Requiem.”


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About The Author


Eric grew up with a simple childhood. At age 11 a six fingered man murdered his father in front of his eyes, while his mother died defending him from an attack from a sharptooth, then an evil toon dropped a piano from 15 stories onto his brother's head and then on top of all of that while on the job he was brutally shot up and left for dead but was rebuilt as a robotic cop to get his revenge. ...Oooorr maybe he just watched a lot of movies growing up and got really into them. From a young age Eric realized learning things like science, math, people's names etc. took some real effort but could easily remember practically all the dialog/plot details from a random movie he watched on tv years ago. He knew from a young age that he wanted to make movies and never strayed from that. Going to college to get an education in film production and working on movie sets whenever it can be fit into his schedule. Get him into a room full of people he doesn't know and over time you may eventually get him to open up but just mention some movies and he'll talk for hours, never afraid to (respectfully) argue with fellow movie nerds. Now he puts that love and energy toward writing for

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